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Serving everyone because financial difficulties and hunger have no boundary lines.
For help obtaining food or volunteering call the volunteer pantry director at this number:

Tel: 978 -250 3818

Email:  Website:
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New Address: 50 Rear Billerica Road,  Chelmsford, Ma.  - In Beige Trailer

Latest News & Updates (Read this first):
Thanksgiving hours 2015

Mission Statement:

The purposes of the Corporation are to provide a resource for those in need:
To offer food, clothing, shelter and companionship for those in need, as well as to act whenever and however possible as advocates for the disadvantaged, and to engage in other charitable purposes lawful in this Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Chelmsford Community Exchange, Inc. /   Non-Profit ID # 043194006

Hours / Food Drop Offs  / Food Pick Ups / Non-English Speaking Only / Appearances/

U. S. Guidelines  / Donations/ News Links /   Sandy's  Articles
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  grapeleaf iconPantry Hours

UPDATES: We are opened from the first Sat. in December until the last Saturday in April from Noon until 1:30.

WE DO NOT PRE-BAG- Food pick up weekly.
Note: Please see
Saturday hour changes  below for 2010-11.

Food Drop Offs:

Food Drop Offs

10:30 AM to1:00PM
6:45 PM- 7:45 PM

Food Pick ups:

Year Round:

Thursday /  2-4 PM
Friday  /      6:30-8 PM 

Saturdays -Noon to 1:30PM
First week in December through the last week of April
Please, Pantry users only to protect confidentiality

Check Holiday hours

Non-English Speaking
Year  Round:

5PM to 8PM


6:30PM to 8PM

 Check Holiday hours

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TOP Index

grapeleaf iconPoverty Guidelines for the United States:

NEW -2011-Poverty Guidelines

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peach iconAppearances / Media News


What is going to happen next?

By Sandy Donovan

This is a question many families are asking this past year that come to the pantry for help with food and many times other things, too.  Because of your support many families have been able to avoid some of these challenges.

It has been a challenge for us too; but with your continued support we have been able to make changes in people’s lives for the better.

A family of 6 that live in Chelmsford have had a very challenging year. A car accident this past winter made it imperative to get the car fixed so the father could get back and forth to work along with the other responsibilities all families need for transportation. We were able to get the car repaired.  Then this summer their water heater stopped working and they had no hot water for a 3 or 4 months. With school just around the corner and a little baby the need for hot water became a necessity. A very generous supporter paid for the replacement of the water heater which cost $1800.   The first time they could take a shower with warm water was such a joy to this very grateful family.

A woman that was a very long distance from work everyday was walking and did not ask for help but when I found out her circumstances I insisted we fix her car, as it was very unsafe to drive and occasionally took the chance.  I spoke to a very generous supporter and the answer was “get if fixed- I will take care of it”. She is so grateful and thankful for this gift of being able to get to work safely, especially with the cold weather ahead and be warm not exposed to the elements of the weather on any given day.

Another family that was helped last year when surgery was needed for the Mom to save her life but three thousand dollars was needed, as it was nor covered by insurance and was paid by a very generous supporter.  This family has been hit with more problems. Their ten year old son had cancer 4 years ago and it went into remission but has come back with a vengeance. It is a Neuroblastma and is spreading but is being treated with oral chemo and hoping for the best.

Their furnace needs to be replaced but for the moment is patched but will be replaced and paid for by a generous supporter.  Again, I tell you without your support people would be wondering where I can get help.

This is just three examples of help needed for three of our families this past year.  It is truly God’s Pantry so many times I wonder how I am going to be able to help a family with car repairs, gas for cars to get to work, electric and gas bills, necessary clothing in the winter months, medical and emergency rents. Somehow or other I receive a donation I was not expecting that makes a difference in another’s life for the better. It is truly God’s Pantry and He works thru people with generous hearts for others in difficult situations of life like you.

Because we do not take government grants we are afforded more freedom to help people, without regards to government guidelines. It is in our Mission Statement, too.

Many families turn to us for help because we go way beyond food to help families. I care about the whole person not just handing them a bag of food. People do get the opportunity to pick out their food and we help with special diets, to. Many people can not afford the food for these diets, like gluten free food, sugar free and salt free or reduced food. These foods are very expensive and with limited income impossible to buy. If they do not stay on the required diet their health will pay the consequences of not eating the right food.

I have been told how we help them for a healthier life.  I do a lot reading to help them to stay on specials diets that are needed by some of our families.

Many of our families do work, either underpaid or only able to find part time work. But we still have families that one or both losing their jobs or going from full time to part time work.  The economy is still not strong and is very questionable. Future doesn’t look to promising with a lot problems over healthcare. Hopefully this will work out in time.

There are many stories I could tell you that you have made a difference in people’s lives. You have no idea what a difference your support makes for multiple families every week.  All donations make a difference no matter how big or small they are. They are touching many lives for the better.

I do not use institutionalize words as we are all one family in God. As I always say, “This is God’s Pantry not mine”. We all find God in our own walk, but all roads lead to the same Creator.

Donelan’s Supermarket, which we usually go to twice a week, goes way beyond the mile to help us in anyway they can. They bend over backwards to help us wherever possible. They are unbelievable with their support of the pantry.

Wal Mart since mid October has been having a weekly food drive for us and will continue to Christmas. The extras they have given us are making a difference on the extra food we can give to families.

All supermarkets do try to help but are constrained many times by their corporations.

During the summer and early fall months we get free produce from Fontes Farm, Jones Farm and Parlee’s Farm for years. This year we received 5 bushel of apples from Little Rascals Orchard in Harvard, MA. It is a good feeling to know our local farms care about others, too!

We never turn anyone away and we always have enough food to help others thanks to your generous support. I will open up for emergencies on days we are not opened.  We are the only food pantry in the Lowell area that allows people to come weekly.  Families save about $75 to $100 depending on the size of the family on food by coming to the pantry.  We spend over $1,000 most weeks but never under a $1,000. I do coupons which helps us to get extra food like cereal.  We gave out 4,070 boxes and bags of food for October.  A majority of the money spent on food is for produce which is an essential to help keep people healthy.

Numbers are increasing. Two weeks ago we had 20 new families in one week. This past week it was 13 new families.  Sometimes it is a family that hasn’t come for awhile or others that find out about us thru word of mouth, churches or other agencies.

Donations come in all directions whether it is places of worship, families, individuals, small businesses, corporations, farms, schools, organizations, sport groups, or the supermarkets we shop at during the year. There are so many that it would be impossible to list all of them.  We couldn’t do it without you-you make the difference for so many families struggling today.  Families are doubling up. Sometimes a mother has to move in with her daughter’s family and the husband has to move in with another child.  It is happening to one of our families right now in Chelmsford.

We received a check this year for $6,751.20 from Chelmsford National Honor Society from a fund raiser on the Common this past spring.  This is the second year they have done this for us. It took many hours of work for this fund raiser along with eateries that donated their time and food to help make it a success.

We are a blessed community with people of all ages reaching to help us and other groups, too.

Again, I say every donation no matter how small or big is helping to make life a little easier for others. You are making a difference in many lives whether you realize it or not.

I am fund raising at St. Mary’s Church in Chelmsford on Nov. 30 and Dec.1. I will be at all the Masses.

I do work with St. Vincent DePaul Societies in this community and with Our Lady of Hope in Ipswich of which I am a contributing member. We give food to 35 families in Ipswich once a month.  Our Lady of Hope St. Vincent DePaul Society helps us on a monetary level as much as they can.  This free up help for others with financial difficulties in other areas they help with.

Monetary donations-please make checks payable to Chelmsford Community Exchange, Inc. PO Box 394, Chelmsford, MA 01824. For further information look us up at our web site, call me at 978 250-3818 or email me at Please include your telephone number, if you email me, so I can contact you, if necessary. I write a thank you note on the front of your check, as I am the one that makes all the deposits. I try to keep it as confidential as possible. If you need a receipt of your donation for tax purposes please let me know and I will accommodate. I am truly busy as I handle most of the business of the pantry.

Again, I am most appreciative and grateful for all your support over the past twenty years whether you volunteer, contribute to us thru monetary or food donations or having the courage  to come and get much needed food for your families or yourself.

I can’t thank my very faithful volunteers enough for what they do to help us. I see many times some of them giving up fun things to help us; whenever it is needed. We become like a family working together for the good of all.

Families are facing some very difficult challenges in their lives.  Anyone reading this flyer needs help or knows of someone that needs help please do not hesitate to contact me. Hunger has no boundary lines.

Thank you and May God Bless all of you for your continued support.

TOP   /  Index

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grapeleaf icon NEWS / General  Information:

December 2012 Article: Where Do I Turn

November 2010 Article

THANK  YOU !December 2006 Article

/ The Pantry has  added  more services for those without transportation in Lowell.
For details please see Sandy's Article, October, 2006

The  2006 fund raising theme for  Chelmsford Community Exchange Inc. was:
  "Is your heart open to the needs of others? "

Our pantry serves The Greater Lowell area and beyond. Hunger has no boundary lines nor do people having financial  difficulties. Because of an outdated formula for evaluating  poverty income guidelines , many families are hurting and do not qualify for any kind of assistance. The poverty is hidden and very prevalent because it is invisible.  It is like a person that looks very healthy but has cancer or any other depilating illness which is eroding their insides.  Food pantries are no longer band-aids but necessities. Most of our families work that come to us for help.  Just check out the poverty guidelines on this site  and it answers for itself.
God Bless all of you for your continued support and caring!

Sandy Donovan,
Founder \ Director
  Your donations are deeply appreciated. Any of us , or our loved ones , could be in need of community support at some time in our lives.  Don't let our "Chelmsford" name deceive you, we serve numerous communities in the Merrimack Valley!   We make every effort to help those who seek our help. For this reason...
money groceries clothes

Cleaning out your pantry or closet ? Don't throw out canned goods , non perishable supplies and outdated but "good clothing, please!   Check expiration dates, check for good, serviceable, clean clothing and if still  good, donate them!

We also acknowledge the numerous individuals and groups who support us through  services, time
and / or shared skills on a regular and ongoing basis.   Thank you all!

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peach iconLinks :
Sandy's E Blog Address-blogger
Sandy will be updating this on a regular basis  with news and articles.  Enjoy !

NEW! -

Project Bread

St. Marguerite D'Youville Parish Site

Merrimack Valley Food Bank

Chelmsford Independent Online.Com

Google Search



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grapeleaf icon Sandy's  Articles:
      *New  November   2010

        Flyer 2009 ,  In God We Trust -
recently added to site-( also in Word  or  Adobe pdf )
        October 2007
Food pantry is spreading its wings

      "Good Friday -A Day of Forgiveness  and Sadness" / by Sandy Donovan

        Thank You All !
- December, 2006

         October 26, 2006 -

         Wings-Life Changes for All
October 27th, 2005 Article

NEW - Sandy's E Blog Address
Sandy will be updating this on a regular basis . Check regularly!

        12th Anniversary of Community Exchange, Inc. /  by  Sandy Donovan / June 24, 2005

Personal Flyer, Opposition to stem cell research   / by  Sandy Donovan / February, 2005

"Food Pantry Headaches and Blessings"  / by  Sandy Donovan / Dec.  2004

"Families Lives Changing Rapidly" by / Sandy Donovan
(Article  Republished here)

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    peach iconDonations Form:

     Please print this page,  share with others,  and  cut and mail the form below if you or your  church or organization can help us in this time of need.  Download,View  or print a  Word Document Flyer  for organizational use and making revisions,as needed. Thanks!

Date: ____________________

Amount: ___________________

Check No: __________________

Retain this stub for your records


Enclosed is my cash contribution to help. 

$5.00            /     $10.00    /    $15.00     /       $25.00      /   Other________
Your Name:__________________________________

Indicate Address:____________________________________

Please make checks payable to : 
Chelmsford Community Exchange, Inc.
PO Box 394
Chelmsford, Ma.  01824

 tel #:   978-250-3818

      TOP  Index

Sandy will be updating her blog . Check regularly!

Chelmsford Community Exchange, Inc